Today's Top Areas of Interim Executive Demand

August 4, 2023 Rachel Halversen

Today’s workforce is roiled by constant change, competition, and uncertainty in the market. Leaders are looking for niche know-how, professional prowess, and innovation that excites to maintain momentum in the turbulent business landscape.

But even with the best leadership teams in place, there will always be open roles, new opportunities, and fast-moving transformations and transitions. According to this year’s High-End Independent Talent Report, there’s been a significant increase in demand (+116% YOY) for interim leadership at all levels. With their strategic expertise and operating experience at industry-leading organizations, these on-demand leaders enable organizations to align skills and leadership for the immediate future.

When it comes down to it, lingering skills gaps and indecisive leadership will cause businesses to lag behind the competition, or worse, cede the game completely. Let us walk you through the latest data and today’s top trends so you can better explore your options amid uncertainty.

The finance function is focusing on fluidity

The most significant demand for interim leadership is in the office of the CFO, with interim CFO requests increasing by 103% YOY, buoyed by the growing complexity of and turnover in the CFO role. Other key finance roles are also highly in demand with Controller taking the spot as the fastest-growing interim C-suite role (+233%), and 43% of interim requests at all levels originating from needs within finance (+71%). Today’s tumult is the aftershock of events earlier this year, and top companies are still fighting to figure out how to navigate their financial needs in this environment.

Above all else, there’s demand to fill C-suite seats

Amid widespread talent shortages, renewed focus on work-life balance, and ongoing market uncertainty, top levels of leadership are experiencing rapid change and transformation. Sourcing the skills needed can be difficult in a short period of time, which is why companies are turning to on-demand talent for experienced leadership at the C-suite level (+78%), with especially acute needs for CEOs (+220%), CHROs (+100%), and Chief Transformation Officers (+100%). These needs are commonly seen in the private equity space, as firms seek skilled interim leadership to help their portfolio companies drive significant transformation initiatives, build out business functions, and experiment with leadership profiles ahead of the long-term hire.

IT and tech talent are in demand

Amid skyrocketing interest in generative AI, 5G, cloud solutions, automation, and more, the competition for right-fit skills and expertise is fierce. If you are looking to augment areas such as software development, data analytics, and cybersecurity, an interim IT or tech leader can lend a hand. It’s no wonder demand for IT and tech transformation projects and tech and system implementation each rose about 20%. Top tech executives have a knack for knowing what’s what even as the trends ebb and flow, making them well-equipped to innovate and enhance your business.

Human resource heroes help you help others

HR is the backbone to every organization, and their critical place in the modern workforce can’t be glossed over. When there’s a lull in the market or threats of further uncertainty, having the right human capital in place can be a game-changing move. Interim HR executives have the capacity and skillset to hit the ground running on DE&I initiatives, improve organizational design and effectiveness, review and restructure compensation packages, and manage all things people amid layoffs, hiring freezes, and reorganizations or restructures while maintaining day-to-day employee operations and relations.

Operations leaders keep the ball moving org-wide

It’s no secret that even the smallest disruption can have lasting impacts on an organization, be that in terms of cost or in required recovery labor. At all levels through the role of the COO, interim operations leaders can come in, identify the problem, and strategize solutions on day one if need be. If there’s no problem to solve, they can support internal development efforts and focus on improving efficiency, sustainability, and resilience through process optimization or reprioritization.

Interim executives are outside-the-box solutions for today’s problems

What’s stopping you from investing in an interim executive? Conversations show that hesitancy stems from outdated myths such as the idea that interim leaders are only useful in crisis situations. That couldn’t be further from the truth, because these industry leaders are ideal for a wide variety of situations. Here are some of the many services an interim executive can provide:

  • Fill a temporary leadership or skill gap
  • Lead and manage a team during a merger or acquisition
  • Overhaul operations and optimize for growth
  • Provide stability, continuity, and an outside POV
  • Provide a temporary-by-design solution for immediate priorities
  • Stand in as effective leadership on day one
  • Pilot and support new launches, initiatives, programs, and strategies
  • Improve performance and maximize revenue
  • Help you experiment with and shape the leadership profile needed for a permanent hire
  • Get a newly hired permanent leader up to speed avoid disruption
  • Seamlessly transition to project-based work to help the new-in-seat leader hit the ground running

If that doesn’t get the wheels turning, we offer complimentary consultations and have an extensive library of case studies and resources exploring the vast possibilities interim executives bring to the table.

Get started with an interim executive

On-demand interim executives bring the most in-demand skills and expertise to the table with extensive in-seat and on-the-ground experience. If you have a gap to fill or if you’ve simply been looking to try something new, join savvy business leaders at top companies who are innovating with on-demand talent in critical capacities. Loop in Business Talent Group so we can pair you with right-fit talent who can tackle your top initiatives with insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Book a free consultation today to explore how on-demand talent can support your team. There’s no upfront cost to explore a project or interim engagement.

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